Performing A Burnout - Final Gear Editorial
Punishing Tires For Pleasure
I admit it. I love big, smoky burnouts. I love the sight, smell, sounds, and even the taste. There’s something about it that evokes a joy from deep within, a sort of euphoric high, an adrenaline rush. And when it comes down to it, there are not many vehicles you can buy fresh off of a dealer’s lot that will roast tires quite like a diesel truck.
Performing a burnout is defined as the practice of keeping a vehicle stationary while spinning the wheels (usually the rear), which causes the tires to heat up and smoke due to friction. The smoke created is not a result of the tire actually burning, but in reality is primarily a vapor, which is similar to steam. The origin of burnouts can be traced back to the early days of drag racing, when burnouts served a practical purpose. Drag racing tires perform better at higher temperatures, and the quickest way to raise the temperature of the tire prior to a race is by performing a burnout. In addition, it also clears the tires of any debris they may have collected in the staging lanes and lays down a fresh patch of rubber for better traction. Performing a burnout with a rear-wheel-drive vehicle is merely a function of simultaneously applying the accelerator and brake pedals. At a certain point of balance, which differs from vehicle to vehicle, the front brakes will prevent forward movement while the rear brakes are overcome by the power being transferred from the engine.
"Whenever the opportunity presents itself, I love to give tires a good flogging. There are a few problems with exercising this simple joy, however."
Whenever the opportunity presents itself, I love to give tires a good flogging. There are a few problems with exercising this simple joy, however. First and foremost, tires are expensive! And while one or two smoke shows don’t hurt, constantly performing them can get costly. There is also the fact that it’s generally frowned upon by local law enforcement. Lastly, laying stripes on public roads does nothing but hurt our image in the public’s eye -- the same way rolling coal does. But at the end of the day, I still love putting the hurt on a good set of rubber…and enjoy watching others do it as well.
Here’s what I want you to do. Email me the best photo of your truck doing what it loves to do: roast tires. Make sure your photo is well-lit, high-resolution, and is the only thing in the frame. Please keep it legal as well; we will not accept photos that appear to be breaking the law. Dragstrips and private property are best. Along with your photo, I would like you to include a bit of information about you and your truck (see below). I will choose the eight trucks that best followed these guidelines and publish them in a future issue of our Readers’ Diesels section. Seems pretty simple, doesn’t it?
Please include the following information with your photos:
Send your photos and info to Jason Gonderman at Jason.Gonderman@sorc.com.